Digital Health – A Blessing or Curse for Global Health?
MMS Bulletin #148, December 2018
MMS Digitalisation in healthcare (eHealth) is fully underway. The use of smartphones, apps, tablets, telemedicine and even drones (mHealth) is booming, both in the rich North and the global South, and is revolutionising everyday medical practice. Whether in prevention, health promotion or to support treatment processes, digital technologies are being utilised in all areas. Especially for low and middle income countries, huge potential is opening up to quickly sidestep the barriers to development on the way to universal health coverage. At the same time, this digital revolution – which has generated vast amounts of data and information in recent years – contains a multitude of risks and challenges. How should technologies be employed to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems? How can the creation of new monopolies through possession of data be prevented? How can data protection and the security of personal data be safeguarded? New innovations, partnerships and standards are required to ensure, that eHealth, first and foremost, benefits its users – this is something upon which the writers of our latest MMS Bulletin all agree. (Photo: Burkina Faso, © Olivier Girard/ Terre des hommes Foundation)